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#491264 - 05/23/14 10:45 AM NCL to The Table For Lesson in “Realpolitik”
Marty Offline

Political Directorate Brings NCL to The Table For Lesson in “Realpolitik”

On Tuesday night in Independence Village, the Cabinet Subcommittee on investment organized a meeting with Colin Murphy, Norwegian Cruise Lines. The purpose?: to get the four UDP standard bearers and their stalwarts from the south on the same page as the Cruise Line because they say they've been left out of the loop, both in terms of jobs and information. And while they are out of the loop, they believe that the four PUP area representatives have positioned themselves to get the inside track. The issue was raised at a UDP National Party Council meeting on Saturday - and by Tuesday the meeting was set up. Minister of State Mark King was there and he told us it was to open a channel of communication - and he went on to say it's a channel he has used himself:

Hon. Mark King
"What I know I was particularly invited in the meeting for was to engage those partners from NCL in terms of alongside BELTRAIDE ministry and the ministry of local government in terms of investment and other factors to see how we can engage them to see what it is their timeframe to roll out and how it is we can engage the elected representatives of the people down there to communicate with them, a communication barrier with them."

"In terms of the people we represent we try to open up communication lines for them so there is no barrier between them and the investor."

Jules Vasquez
"As I understand it, it was to try and tell the UDP caretakers and UDP supporters who were there as well that if you don't try and aggressively court Norwegian Cruise Lines UDPs will not end up with all the jobs. Am I right?"

Hon. Mark King
"You kind of twist it there, but what I can say is that we as a UDP government, we as a mass party, we have a lot of supporters. We look after all Belizeans in general, but of course with any mass political party you look after UDP first, you look after Belizean second and you look after PUP last - I am straight up like that, I don't have anything to hide from the media. At the end of the day that is your concept that we went to do that. I didn't say we went to do that."

Jules Vasquez
"Is there any process where it will be that you all have told Mr. Murphy of Norwegian Cruise Line that "we eat first." We are the government which is enabling Norwegian Cruise Line...we are facilitating this investment and so our party must eat first. Was that clearly communicated?"

Hon. Mark King
"I don't think that was the idea of the meeting any at all. I think the idea was to open up the communication lines of the charter roll out timeframe for NCL and the people were having concerns. What that timeframe would be and how they would go about applying for jobs and stuff like that. It wasn't anything to say go and put any kind of ultimatum on NCL. If we would do that to any investor, that would be very wrong of us."

Jules Vasquez
"You are also a business person, you have Brint Security, are you trying also to secure for yourself contracts with NCL for security contracts for Malacate/Harvest Caye that sort of thing?"

Hon. Mark King
"Let me tell you, I am not hiding anything from the media, I am definitely sure I've been in contact with NCL way before I even met Mr. Murphy and anybody - I had sent a request for security for them. I have received one email from their headquarters out of Miami - I've explain to them that my company would have interest in that. Like I've said, I've told the media, I've told the cabinet that I have a company long before I join politics and that has to do with my business - the way I live life before and that is the way I will live life after I left politics, so yes I have applied to NCL, they have given me nothing, they have said we will look at your proposal and that's as far as we are."

Jules Vasquez
"Do you see it as a conflict of interest that you are acting in both capacities as a representative of the government and a private business owner who is trying to secure a contract?"

Hon. Mark King
"Absolutely not. I don't see it as a conflict because that is my right. That is my right as a Belizean, that is my right as a business man. If PUP was in there and one of them had a business, one of them would apply anyway. So as far as I am concern I have the right to run my company. I have the right to apply for government contract just as seen in the courts. I have the right to apply to anything that is public as long as I give it to public knowledge, I am not hiding anything. PUP come, UDP come, Belizeans come and they qualify to be in that security element - Belizeans are getting hired through Brint Security if is for Mark King or not and Brint Security does have its board of directors and its protected under a company limited status, therefore it's not just necessarily for me - it's for all Belizeans. The amount of Belizeans I hired through Brint Security on a monthly basis is a lot of people at work."

Jules Vasquez
"You said earlier you can't give an investor an ultimatum that would be inappropriate. But I would imagine Norwegian Cruise Line is clear that Mark King is a part of the government of Belize and it is their interest to continue to maintain good relations with the government of Belize because this Dean Barrow government is the one that made Norwegian Cruise Line happen at Harvest Caye."

Hon. Mark King
"Yeah but Mark King is very clear that also I have a life to live and I have bills to pay and I have children to take care of and I have Belizeans to hire - so on that end I am very clear that I will apply to any international interest, any local interest, any government interest in terms of tendering for security - that is my business."

This evening we spoke by phone to Chair of the Cabinet Investment Committee Godwin Hulse who chaired the meeting. And later in the news, you'll hear his take on it.

Channel 7


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#491282 - 05/23/14 01:10 PM Re: NCL to The Table For Lesson in “Realpolitik” [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
UDP affirmative Action or real bribery? When does the US Dept of Justice step in to determine who paid out and who received and be charged?
_________________________
Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
info@belize-trips.com

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#491285 - 05/23/14 02:05 PM Re: NCL to The Table For Lesson in “Realpolitik” [Re: Marty]
SimonB Offline
"but of course with any mass political party you look after UDP first, you look after Belizean second and you look after PUP last - I am straight up like that, I don't have anything to hide from the media."

That is the most disgusting comment I have ever read from a politician.

As a politician your duty is to Belizeans first; I know it doesn't work that way but to hear it spoken blatantly and with pride is disgusting.

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#491288 - 05/23/14 03:07 PM Re: NCL to The Table For Lesson in “Realpolitik” [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
Area rep and Min of State from Lake I. Arrested at casino in free zone when he and his crew were drunk and police arrested them for disorderly conduct and King resisted arrest. I do wish King was sent to Cannes and acted the same way there for gendarmerie.

King lives in one of the most expensive homes along Seashore Drive near the PM and really, can't not imagine how he can afford this house, which has to be upwards of $6000.00 a month, possibly more. Do you have that type of disposable income for rent on a Min of State salary of probably less than 60,000 per yr, before the spoils, rape and pillaging.
_________________________
Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
info@belize-trips.com

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